The Internet is a fun to place to connect with other people and share with them. However, some people take advantage of this platform to post negative, untrue and hurtful things about others. Sometimes, the person posting this type of content is a soon-to-be former spouse. This can cause hurt feelings,
If your spouse is bad-mouthing you online, the last thing you want to do is engage in the same behavior. We’ve provided some helpful tips below, and if you have more questions, it can always help to talk to a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer.
Step 1 – Take a Breath
In the seconds or minutes after you read an offensive post from your ex, it’s likely that your heart rate and blood pressure will markedly increase. That is normal. When this happens, the best thing you can do for yourself is to put the phone down, back away from the computer and take some deep breaths. Do not respond in this instant. Instead, find something to distract you, like a walk, a vent-session with a trusted friend, or a trip to the gym.
Step 2 – Assess The Situation
After you’ve taken some time to get your heart rate and anger under control, think about what your ex-spouse said about you and what the best possible response is. The first rule of online behavior when going through a divorce is this: never post anything you do not want to see blown up on a poster in the courtroom. You may call it a post; your attorney will call it “Exhibit A.”
Step 3 – Do Inflame. Do Not Defend. Do Not Engage.
The last thing you want to do is to provide your ex with the same type of leverage to use against you. Take screen shots of the offensive post(s) and place them in a file. You can send them to your attorney and seek his or her advice on how best to use them. You might also seek their advice on whether to block your ex altogether on social media.
Continue to ignore the posts and avoid posting anything online that might be harmful to your divorce case, including images of you partying or seeing another person (particularly if you are having a custody dispute). While there is nothing wrong with dating during
Find your inner peace and focus on life away from social media.
Step 4 – Consider Legal Options
Talking to your divorce attorney can help you determine what course of action to take regarding your ex-spouse’s behavior. If you just feel that you cannot put up with the behavior, you have some options:
- Have your attorney talk to their attorney about the behavior and ask them to stop.
- Ask for a clause in the marital agreement that prohibits such behavior after the divorce
- Consider filing a defamation lawsuit
Now, not all offensive posts are legally considered defamation. Defamation is a false statement made about someone and is injurious to that person’s character and reputation. The statement is made publicly so that it reaches other people and causes harm to the reputation or social standing of the victim.
Posting false and hurtful things about someone on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter or on websites, blogs or any other online public forum is considered online defamation.
Any way you slice it, divorce is an emotionally taxing time. Engaging in online arguments and name-calling only makes things worse. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, contact a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer today to determine your rights.